Mysterious Stone Structure Found Beneath Sea Of Galilee
by Corey Hjalseth, KHQ Local News Contributor - email
Photo from NBC
A giant "monumental" stone structure discovered beneath the waters of
the Sea of Galilee in Israel has archaeologists puzzled as to its
purpose and even how long ago it was built.
structure is cone shaped, made of "unhewn basalt cobbles and boulders,"
and weighs an estimated 60,000 tons, the researchers said. That makes it
heavier than most modern-day warships.
Rising nearly 32 feet (10
meters) high, it has a diameter of about 230 feet (70 meters). To put
that in perspective, the outer stone circle of Stonehenge has a diameter just half that with its tallest stones not reaching that height.
It appears to be a giant cairn, rocks piled on top of each other.
Structures like this are known from elsewhere in the world and are
sometimes used to mark burials. Researchers do not know if the newly
discovered structure was used for this purpose.
The structure was
first detected in the summer of 2003 during a sonar survey of the
southwest portion of the sea. Divers have since been down to
investigate, they write in the latest issue of the International Journal
of Nautical Archaeology.
"Close inspection by scuba diving
revealed that the structure is made of basalt boulders up to 1 m (3.2
feet) long with no apparent construction pattern," the researchers write
in their journal article. "The boulders have natural faces with no
signs of cutting or chiselling. Similarly, we did not find any sign of
arrangement or walls that delineate this structure."
They say it is definitely human-made and probably was built on land,
only later to be covered by the Sea of Galilee as the water level rose.
"The shape and composition of the submerged structure does not resemble
any natural feature. We therefore conclude that it is man-made and might
be termed a cairn," the researchers write.
More than 4,000 years old?
archaeological excavation is needed so scientists can find associated
artifacts and determine the structure's date and purpose, the
Researcher Yitzhak Paz, of the Israel
Antiquities Authority and Ben-Gurion University, believes it could date
back more than 4,000 years. "The more logical possibility is that it
belongs to the third millennium B.C., because there are other megalithic
phenomena (from that time) that are found close by," Paz told
LiveScience in an interview, noting that those sites are associated with
The researchers list several examples of megalithic structures found close to the Sea of Galilee that
are more than 4,000 years-old. One example is the monumental site of
Khirbet Beteiha, located some 19 miles (30 kilometers) north-east of the
submerged stone structure, the researchers write. It "comprises three concentric stone circles, the largest of which is 56 m (184 feet) in diameter."
An ancient city
If the third-millennium B.C. date
idea proves correct it would put the structure about a mile to the
north of a city that researchers call "Bet Yerah" or "Khirbet Kerak."
the third millennium B.C. the city was one of the biggest sites in the
region, Paz said. "It's the most powerful and fortified town in this
region and, as a matter of fact, in the whole of Israel."
Raphael Greenberg describes it in a chapter of the book "Daily Life,
Materiality, and Complexity in Early Urban Communities of the Southern Levant" (Eisenbrauns, 2011) as being a heavily fortified 74-acre (30 hectares) site with up to 5,000 inhabitants.
paved streets and towering defenses its people were clearly well
organized. "They also indicate the existence of some kind of municipal
authority able to maintain public structures," Greenberg writes.
The research team says that, like the leaders of Bet Yerah, whoever
built the newly discovered Sea of Galilee structure needed sophisticated
organization and planning skills to construct it. The "effort invested
in such an enterprise is indicative of a complex, well-organized
society, with planning skills and economic ability," they write in their
Paz added that "in order to build such a structure, a lot of working hours were required" in an organized community effort.
Paz said that he hopes soon that an underwater archaeological expedition will set out to excavate the structure. They can search for artifacts and try to determine its date with certainty.
said that the Israel Antiquities Authority has a research branch
capable of excavating it. "We will try to do it in the near future, I
hope, but it depends on a lot of factors."
Thursday, December 5 2013 9:19 PM EST2013-12-06 02:19:22 GMT
UPDATE: On Thursday two people were arrested after a high speed chase. It ended in the area of 13th & Lindeke near Hwy. 195.>>
UPDATE: On Thursday two people were arrested after a high speed chase. It ended in the area of 13th & Lindeke near Hwy. 195. Spokane County Sheriff's Deputies tell KHQ that the male driver rammed at least 2 patrol vehicles before being taken into custody. >>>SEND BREAKING NEWS PHOTOS TO PIX@KHQ.COM| >>
Friday, December 6 2013 2:18 PM EST2013-12-06 19:18:21 GMT
KHQ.COM - We all know that passwords protect our personal accounts and information. >>
KHQ.COM - We all know that passwords protect our personal accounts and information. However it's important to make sure that your password is unique and difficult to prevent people and software programs from figuring it out.>>
Tuesday afternoon the North Idaho Violent Crimes Task Force arrested 22-year-old Michael Anthony Sanchez in connection with the robbery of the Dominos Pizza that happened in Hayden back on November 15th. In a press release issued Thursday afternoon, the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office did not elaborate on details of the arrest.>>
Thursday, December 5 2013 11:58 AM EST2013-12-05 16:58:01 GMT
WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House is stepping up efforts to extend jobless benefits to long-term unemployed Americans.>>
WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House is stepping up efforts to extend jobless benefits to long-term unemployed Americans, arguing that more than a million people will lose the assistance if it isn't renewed by the end of the month, slowing economic growth.>>
Wednesday, December 4 2013 11:03 PM EST2013-12-05 04:03:37 GMT
Passwords for some of the most popular internet sites, including Facebook, Twitter and Google have been stolen and apparently leaked on the internet. >>
Passwords for some of the most popular internet sites, including Facebook, Twitter and Google have been stolen and apparently leaked on the internet. SpiderLabs says it uncovered the passwords during its latest internet sweep for the "Pony Botnet Controller," a malware-spreading set of programs. What this basically means is that the passwords were not leaked by Facebook or the other companies, but from thousands of computers infected with the malware.>>